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Fighting Maroons proud to unite University of the Philippines

More than the telenovela-esque rise and transformation from cellar-dweller to contender, University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol took pride in forging unity among Iskos and Iskas and making them believe in the power of the will to succeed against all odds with their feat in the UAAP Season 81 hoop wars......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarDec 6th, 2018

UAAP: Winning Maroons join rainy UP Lantern Parade

The rain did not bother the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball runners-up as the Fighting Maroons participated in the annual Lantern Parade Friday at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Seven members of the history-making team namely UAAP Season 81 MVP Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, Javi Gomez de Liano, Janjan Jaboneta, Gelo Vito, Diego Dario, and Will Gozum rode a truck that slowly went around the campus' massive academic oval. During the ride, they took selfies with fans along the road. Happening now: #UAAPSeason81 silver medalists UP MBT participating in the annual Lantern Parade. Players are riding a truck as they take selfies with fans around the academic oval. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/cIQ5wXJ3Fr — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018 UP MBT's turn to be introduced in the Quezon Hall. Several fans still showed up to witness the team despite the rainy weather. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/VuaNR1MjSl — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018 It was drizzling the whole afternoon but the players and fans still continued the parade. The crowd chanted 'Atin 'To!' and 'UP Fight' while the drummers kept hitting their signature beats just a few vehicles away from the basketball team's truck. The participation of the team in the yearly tradition of the community is in celebration of the men's basketball program ending a 32-year medal drought in men's basketball. "Sobrang sarap ng feeling. At least for one last time lalo na ngayong Pasko na nakita namin yung buong community, na kahit umuulan andito pa rin para sa amin, todo suporta pa rin. We are really blessed as a team and as individuals to have this opportunity and probably this is the best UP experience for me if you're gonna ask me," said graduating player Gelo Vito. "It's really a blessing, may mga naririnig pa nga ako na may dumayo pa from UP Baguio to be here," added Vito. Akhuetie was thrilled to see the warm reception from UP supporters. "It's awesome. I can't wait to make these guys proud by getting the championship. Look at the hearts these people are pouring out. There is nothing you can do for them that can be too much. Despite the weather, the rain and all, they still showed up." However, Akhuetie expressed that despite the love they have been getting from the community, a bridesmaid finish is not enough. "I just couldn't get it in my head that 'Oh okay, for them to be this happy, I've done enough' I still feel we have to do more so I like it, it's okay but I'm not carried away by it," he said. Aside from the basketball team, the men's track and feld team, which ended a 36-year title drought, also had their own truck to celebrate the achievement. Aside from the UP MBT, the track and field team also has a truck of their own in the Lantern Parade. The team ended a 36 year title drought in the #UAAPSeason81. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/Rx2S2noGH0 — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

Kobe Paras: It ll be fun to face Ateneo in the Finals

Incoming Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras said that it would be fun to see the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University clash once again in the championship series of the UAAP. However, Paras then added that the Blue Eagles should open their doors, close the main thoroughfare and declare the bonfire on Saturday as a bond between the adjacent higher institutions of learning.  "Ateneo, sama mo naman kaming mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Because basketball brings us together. So why don't just have a bonfire of UP and Ateneo together? Sa lahat ng Fathers ng Ateneo, mahal ko kayo. #OneBigFight #UPFight. Sarado natin yung buong Katipunan. Throw a big party," the 21-year old said in an interview with Mico Halili on 'The Score'. Kidding aside, Paras admitted that it 'pissed him off' that he was not able to play for the Maroons this year, who made a surprise run to the UAAP Season 81 Finals. However, he says he looks forward to playing with UAAP Season 80 Mythical Five member Ricci Rivero in leading the squad perhaps back to the Finals once again, and make sure to make the Iskolar ng Bayan proud of their exploits. "I didn't really have to be a part of [the magical season]. But something inside me that people were talking about is why UP was going to the Final Four is because of me and Ricci," he shared. "Everytime people say that to me, I tell them, don't focus on me, focus on the present. Focus on Season 81. My guys really did some big things and I'm proud of them. Not have one, but Ateneo deserved the championship this year." Paras also talked about his haters and how he deals with them everyday. "You just got to live your life. Whatever you do, people are going to respond in a negative or positive way. Do something that makes you happy." See the rest of the interview below:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

UP titos Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras congratulate '16Strong

Gone are the days that Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Eric Altamirano and Joey Guanio are the only benchmarks of University of the Philippines basketball greatness. In the UAAP Season 81, Paul Desiderio, Bright Akhuetie, Juan Gomez de Liano and the rest of the modern day Fighting Maroons made history by making it back in the Final Four since 1997 and the Finals since 1986. Now, just spectators and UP titos, both Magsanoc and Paras just can't help but feel very proud of the achievement. "Doon palang sa makarating sa Final Four yung manalo pa lang sa La Salle, very happy saka very proud sa nagawa ng mga bata sa kanilang Coach Bo [Perasol], sa lahat ng sakripisyo nila, sa lahat ng mga tumulong, naramdaman mo na nagbunga," said Magsanoc, "It was the realization na they were in the right direction saka natutuwa ako na nabuhay yung pride sa community." "Congratulations to Coach Bo, his coaching staff, his players na nagpakahirap para dito. We're here, we are still here to support in other ways," chipped in Paras. If the two had it their way, they would not want any exposure anymore as the 1986 champions thinking that this year is no longer their time. They said that this is the #16Strong's time. But when ABS-CBN Sports pressed them for some sort of reaction or message regarding this year's splendid run of the Maroons, they tipped their hats off to two entities: the coaching staff and the UP community. "[Hindi na ako nagulat sa dami ng tao.] Expected na yan na once pumasok sa Final Four ang UP, or any other team, pag pumasok yun, talagang buhos lahat ng support and for that team to win again and in the Finals," Paras said. "More than gulat eh natutuwa talaga ako para sa mga players kasi you see people coming together for them. Maski naman noon, mayroon naman talaga na mga loyal fans pero ito kasi it has bridged three decades of different generations eh," Magsanoc added. "The coaching staff has done an outstanding job from the players na tinatawag na 16 Strong, whatever happens here we will be very proud of the Fighting Maroons so nagpapasalamat kami kasi they have put the fight back in the Maroons after a long time," Magsanoc said. Season 81 was a year of rewriting history for the Fighting Maroons - Final Four, Finals, MVP. With that, both UP legends expressed that against Ateneo de Manila University, win or lose, the #16Strong are legends. "Whatever happens in the series, I think they have cemented themselves sa legacy ng school, nung sport, sa UAAP. Job well done for Coach Bo and the Fighting Maroons including the staff," Magsanoc shared. This year proved that UP basketball is no longer just about Magsanoc, Paras, Altamirano, and Guanio. They are now joined by names like Desiderio, Akhuetie, and Gomez de Liano. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Foregoing PBA Draft all worth it for UAAP 81 Finals-bound Desiderio

Paul Desiderio is playing his last year for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. A year from now, the top gun of the Fighting Maroons may very well be seeing action in the PBA – as a surefire first round draft pick, no less. That’s not happening just yet, however, as Desiderio has led State U into the Finals with games scheduled for December 1 and December 5 as well as December 8, if necessary. The deadline for applications in the 2018 PBA Draft? December 3. “Wala. ‘Di aabot,” he candidly told reporters after shooting his squad over Adamson on Wednesday and into the championship round. Desiderio isn’t sweating at all, however, as he has no regrets in leading UP in continuing to make history. “Actually, gusto ko nan gang magpa-draft kaso ‘di ako aabot sa deadline,” he said. He then continued, “Okay na okay lang din naman kasi ang tagal-tagal na ‘tong inantay ng UP community.” After all, sacrifice has been the signature of the Fighting Maroons in the season – sacrifice best encapsulated by their new mantra of “16 Strong.” Of course, it was the skipper himself who came up with the mantra. “Sobrang proud ako sa ginawa naming ’16 Strong.’ Ako talaga, sinacrifice ko lahat, pero para sa UP lahat ng sakripisyong ‘to,” he shared. Indeed, throughout the tournament, Desiderio has allowed Nigerian transferee Bright Akhuetie and second-year stud Juan Gomez de Liano to shine under the spotlight. And yet, whenever it matters most for the Fighting Maroons, it’s their graduating captain who has the ball. That’s the way it should be for Desiderio who will live on in history as the player who guaranteed all of this for State U. What did he say then? “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

'16Strong: UP fans loud and proud on Twitter after historic UAAP win

MANILA, Philippines – Nowhere to go but up! The longest active Final Four drought in the UAAP is finally broken. After 21 dreadful years, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons secured a spot in the highly coveted Final Four of the 81st season of the UAAP men's basketball ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

UAAP: Challenged by Juan, Javi GDL claims his first career dunk

ANTIPOLO – Safe to say, Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano share a special connection whenever they’re on the floor for the University of the Philippines. The brothers have had several highlights together and in the Fighting Maroons’ matchup with National University a month ago, they finally had a shot at a much-wanted alley-oop. Juan had the alley and Javi had the oop. Juan to Javi GDL brotherly connection 😏 #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/qrvK0u9UwA — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) Oktubre 7, 2018 Only, the younger brother was far from happy with his kuya’s finish. “Yung alley-oop? Ang pangit, ni-layup (niya) kahit he was all alone. Weak finish, parang, binaby yung shot. Ang corny. Walang thrill,” he said then. And so, Javi was nothing but fired up to prove Juan wrong. “It was a challenge, really,” he said. His chance finally came last Saturday at the Ynares Center here, when he intercepted a pass and found a wide open runway ahead of him. Javi GDL gets the steal and goes all the way for the SLAM! #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/uUGpzsOy5Y — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) Nobyembre 3, 2018 The third-year forward wasted no time to go all the way for a one-handed slam dunk. “A while ago, I was fresh off the bench. Ayun, na-dunk ko,” he told reporters post-game. For Javi, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he could fly. As he put it, “It’s nothing new to me. I do it every day naman. I’m not just used to that opportunity lang on the break na I’m all alone.” Still, as it turns out, that highlight turned out to be historic as that was his first-ever career dunk in-game. For that, Juan is nothing but proud. “Finally, he had one. I’m just happy for him,” he said. He was quick to add, though, “It was light, actually. He placed it in lang.” Well, there’s another challenge from Juan for you, Javi! --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

Eight breakout players who wowed in PVL s Collegiate Conference

Collegiate volleyball won’t be around until the second semester but the recently-concluded Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference on ABS-CBN S+A gave us a glimpse of what the girls may be raring to give us once their tournament in their respective leagues finally open. Some girls came out of nowhere to really provide the fireworks in the conference and came away with new fans and admirers thanks to their impressive play on the floor. As the PVL’s Open Conference is about to part its curtains, let’s take a look at the eight collegiate volleybelles who totally captured our hearts thanks to their display of heart and skill.   1.) Tonnie Rose Ponce, Adamson University (Tonnie Rose Ponce (libero) made a mark in the last PVL Collegiate Conference when she bagged a Mythical Six award) Adamson head coach Air Padda is proud of Ponce, her team’s libero, for being the best cheerleader of her teammates on the floor. Even with her small stature, she plays big with a fighting spirit that has endeared her to the fans. It still came as a surprise, however, to the dimunitive Ponce, to be named as one of the Mythical Six and the conference’s Best Libero. Maybe not for Padda, who has always seen the leadership potential of her squad’s cheerleader.   2.) Rosie Rosier, University of the Philippines (The sophomore Lady Fighting Maroon was instrumental in ending the school's 36 year major title drought in the PVL Collegiate Conference) Rosier was instrumental in breaking the UP Lady Fighting Maroons’ 36-year championship drought as the sophomore carried the team on her back in a thrilling five-set Game 1 match with the FEU Lady Tamaraws. She pumped in 15 points via 13 attacks to have probably one of her best birthday celebrations to date, and followed it up with a 10-point output in Game 2 to help her squad bring home the Collegiate Conference crown.   3.) Milena Alessandrini, University of Santo Tomas (Second year Golden Tigress Milena Alessandrini powered the Thomasians in the FInal FOur ddespite nursing a shoulder injury) UST’s Fil-Italian tower introduced herself to Filipino volleyball fans when she won Rookie of the Year in UAAP Season 80. While it’s not easy to be on a different land where everyone speaks a different language, Alessandrini has been quick to adapt to what the coach wants done on the floor based on her performance in PVL. Her best game happened in the Battle for Third against Adamson where she broke out with a 31-point outing, a sign of things to come for the Golden Tigresses’ campaign in the coming UAAP wars.   4.) Celine Domingo, Far Eastern University (Celine Domingo followed up her stellar UAAP season 80 campaign with a masterful PVL Collegiate Conference under Coach George Pascua) Veteran setter Kyle Negrito is FEU’s top player and Jerrili Malabanan is their main weapon, no doubt, but Domingo is poised to take over the team as she continues to make an impact in the net in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference. The conference’s First Best Middle Blocker has been one of Coach George Pascual’s reliable players that are expected to carry the scoring duties now that super senior Bernadeth Pons’ career with the school is over. Too bad she was set back by a knee injury in Game One of the Finals against UP, which also sidelined her in Game Two.   5.) Jan Daguil, College of Saint Benilde (Jan Daguil (16) was one of the surprises for CSB in the PVL Collegiate Conference) With their MVP, Jeanette Panaga, moving on from her school career, the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers are hard-pressed to find a replacement. So far, Marites Pablo has emerged as the biggest candidate, but not too far behind is Daguil, who has come up big for them when they needed the points the most. During their battle for a Final Four spot in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference, Daguil led her team with 15 points, all on kills, to turn back the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags.   6.) Joyce Sta. Rita, San Sebastian College-Recoletos (Joyce Sta. Rita is the only holdover remaining for the Lady Stags but she is determined to be their main pillar) Sta. Rita is the only holdover from Coach Roger Gorayeb’s compact 7-woman squad from a year ago in NCAA Season 93, where she was named Second Best Middle Blocker. That did not stop her from being an example to her new teammates as she fought in each set and match to keep the young Lady Stags competitive even if they failed to notch a single win.   7.) Satrianni Espiritu, San Beda University (Satrianni Espiritu (10) looks to be the final piece of the puzzle for the SBU Lady Red Spikers) Everyone talks about SBU stars Cesca Racraquin and the Viray twins. But another player that should be acknowledged is Espiritu, who consistently chipped in to keep the Red Lionesses in contention with her consistent showing game in and game out. If her PVL Collegiate Conference showing translates to the incoming NCAA wars, the other ladies better be shaking in their shoes as the Red Lionesses will be a mighty force to be reckoned with. 8.) Cindy Imbo, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (With Bianca Tripoli out of commission, Cindy Imbo stepped up in the last PVL Collegiate Conference) Bianca Tripoli is the main pillar of strength for the Lady Altas. It was a shame that she had to limp off the PVL Collegiate Conference due to a mild tear in her quadriceps. Carrying the load for her during her absence is Imbo, who displayed her scoring abilities while their captain was injured. In a crucial game against favorite FEU Lady Tamaraws, Imbo fired away 15 points to lead the team. While they did not win the match, it showed her capability to step up when needed. Watch for these ladies when the 2018 seasons of the NCAA and UAAP women’s volleyball tournaments begin. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more scintillating volleyball action once the PVL resumes with their Open Conference this Saturday (September 22) on S+A, S+A HD, and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

UAAP: Coach Bo apologizes to UP for getting ejected

The University of the Philippines will not have head coach Bo Perasol in its next assignment on Sunday opposite University of Sto. Tomas. Coach Bo will have to serve a one-game suspension after he incurred a disqualifying foul in the Fighting Maroons’ 79-87 loss to Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. As per the UAAP’s house rules, an ejection would then merit a one-game suspension to be served in the next assignment. For that, the always amiable mentor was the first to take blame. “I was emphasizing to my team na composure and I apologized to them because I was the one who first lost it,” he told reporters post-game. He then continued, “No matter what happens, I have to be accountable to them. No matter how bad the calls are going to be, it’s all part of the game.” Coach Bo was reacting to what he felt was a non-call near the midway mark of the final frame. Then, UP’s Bright Akhuetie tried to dunk on Ateneo’s William Navarro, but missed the attempt. In the eyes of the State U mentor, a foul should have been called and that’s why he was seen rushing at the referee. As he put it, “I think it was an obvious call for me. I think Bright got fouled in there.” He then continued, “I don’t know what was in their minds, but I wanted to make sure they understand. I’m not going to stand there and watch (us) lose because (referees) are not calling it.” Still, Coach Bo had to acknowledge that he probably took it too far. “I just have to be better as a coach. I have to make sure that I will be with them during those times,” he said. Rallying around his ejection, UP came as close as five, but ultimately fell to the defending champions. For that fight, their ejected coach was nothing but proud. “I have to commend my guys for fighting against the defending champions. I think that we made sure that we fought hard,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

Coach Bo says season-ending win is ‘defining moment for UP’

It was a short-lived celebration for the University of the Philippines. Two hours and 18 minutes after staying alive in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the playoff hopes of the Fighting Maroons were effectively extinguished when Far Eastern University triumphed over Adamson University. “Wala na naman talaga yung bola sa kamay namin,” head coach Bo Perasol said. “What’s important now is we (had for) ourselves a chance for the playoffs.” Indeed, a lot had to go right for them to end what is now a 20-year playoff drought. Heading into today’s gameday, State U was tied with National University at 5-8. A win there then raised their record to 6-8. Along with that, however, they also needed 6-7 FEU to lose to Adamson. If such scenario would have happened, FEU and UP, both at 6-8, would have figured in a knockout bout for the fourth and final playoff berth. Of course, their first playoffs in two decades wasn’t meant to be as they downed NU, 106-81, only to see the Tamaraws gore the Soaring Falcons, 71-54. Still, Perasol said how they came through in a must-win game was only a good sign for their program. “Ang sabi ko sa kanila, this is going to be a defining moment for our program. If you wanna grow, you have to undergo these kinds of games – knockout games, all for the marbles games – kasi rito mo nage-gain yung confidence mo,” he shared. He then went on to say how the Fighting Maroons, long used to be at the bottom of the standings, just did not have the experience of how to win. “Lahat ng teams have to overcome high-pressure games. E kami, yung simpleng laro lang, pagdating sa dulo, bumabagsak kami,” he said. He then continued, “Kaya kailangang merong pinaghuhugutan. They have to remember this experience na, ‘Hey, we have done this already.’” Indeed, Perasol’s wards got just that and persevered – imposing their will on the also determined Bulldogs from tip-off to final buzzer. “Whatever happens, I’m really proud of how we played this game. All of them really responded well,” he said. While they are yet to end that 20-year playoff drought, the always amiable mentor said they are on their war there, slowly but surely. “When we began this season, we really had high hopes on getting into the Final Four. Now, here we are and we were just a win away,” he said. And Perasol has the numbers to back him up as in his first season, he guided State U to a 5-9 record. Now, they wrap up their campaign at 6-8. “It’s an improvement to what we had last season. So no matter what happens, I believe we added some character to these gentlemen which we are going to hopefully bring into next season,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2017

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

After 33 years, the tradition of PBA teams selecting promising players from the amateur ranks, patterned after the NBA draft process, heralded a balanced influx of talent to even out the league’s competitiveness. But what makes the draft process interesting is the choice of the number 1 pick, who is considered the most in-demand player seen to bolster the chances of the worst performing or a newly established team in the PBA. With Columbian Dyip’s selection of Lyceum stalwart CJ Perez as the number one pick in the 2018 PBA Draft,  let’s look back at the top draft picks through the years, from its beginnings in 1985 to the controversial selection last year, and how they made their mark in the league. 1985 – Sonny Cabatu Sonny Cabatu was the PBA’s first-ever number one draft pick, selected by the expansion club Shell Azodrin Bugbusters, which took over the Crispa Redmanizers franchise. An intense bruiser inside the paint, Cabatu was Shell’s starting center known as “Mr. Quality Minutes.” He would then play for Great Taste, Purefoods, Sarsi, and Ginebra in a respectable career. 1986 – Rey Cuenco A member of the guest Northern Cement Corp. (NCC) team coached by Ron Jacobs that played in the pro league’s 1984 season, Rey Cuenco was picked in the 1986 draft by another new, expansion ballclub Alaska Milkmen to lead their charge.  His pro playing career blossomed from 1989 to 1992 under the tutelage of Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski. In 1990, he was adjudged the Most Improved Player and part of the Mythical Second Team. He also became a member of the Big J-coached, first all-Filipino, all-professional “Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing that won a silver medal for the country with Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras and Ramon Fernandez among others. 1987 – Allan Caidic Considered the greatest Filipino basketball marksman ever, Allan Caidic was already a big name before he strutted into the PBA. Having won titles for the UE Red Warriors and among the top players of the Ron Jacobs-mentored national team, the Triggerman was definitely one big prized addition for any team. And Great Taste, having the privilege of selecting first in 1987, made Caidic a hands-down choice. He would later suit up for San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel in a storied career. He had since become a PBA Hall of Famer and among the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time. 1988 – Jack Tanuan A vital cog of the FEU Tamaraws and a member of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games squad that took home the bronze, Jack Tanuan was a feared scorer who made a living with his inside game. It was no surprise that new franchise Purefoods selected him as their top pick in 1988, in addition to other direct hires from the amateur ranks that formed their strong core—Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Glenn Capacio—on top of having the Franchise, Mon Fernandez, as playing coach. He would later play for the Sarsi, Swift and Pop Cola teams under the RFM franchise, and later on for Sta. Lucia, Mobiline, and Alaska. 1989 – Benjie Paras It was the year of Benjie Paras, a valiant, hardworking center called “The Tower of Power,” who led the UP Maroons to its historic 1986 UAAP title. After being selected by Shell as the number one pick in the 1989 draft, Paras would achieve the impossible of being both the league MVP and Rookie of the Year, while being named to the Mythical Five. Paras along with fellow Hall of Famers Ronnie Magsanoc and long-time import Bobby Ray Parks Sr. became the triumvirate that led Shell to the First Conference championships in 1990 and 1992. And, even with the onset of Fil-foreign players in the PBA, Paras remained dominant and won his second MVP plum in 1999. 1990 – Peter Jao Peter Jao was the first Cebuano player to be drafted as a rookie top pick in the league, selected by Presto Tivoli. He would then become a member of Presto’s champion team in the 1990 All-Filipino conference with Allan Caidic and Gerry Esplana. 1991 – Alex Araneta The former Ateneo Blue Eagle suited up for Alaska Air Force/Milkmen until 1995, after which he was hired in the company as a management trainee, eventually becoming one of Alaska Milk Corp.’s sales managers. Of Alaska’s 14 championships in the league, Araneta was a veteran of 2 of them (1991 Third Conference and 1994 Governors’ Cup). 1992 – Vergel Meneses An ex-seminarian who became among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players, the “Aerial Voyager” was known for his show-stopping moves and is considered among the best one-on-one players. The former JRU Heavy Bomber and 1995 PBA MVP was also a member of the all-pro Centennial Team coached by Tim Cone that won the William Jones Cup in Taipei and placed 3rd in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. 1993 – Zandro Limpot After his years as a King Archer for De La Salle, Zandro Limpot entered the 1993 draft and was chosen first overall by the expansion ballclub Sta. Lucia Realtors.  Limpot was named Rookie Of The Year that season as well as reaping All-Star, Mythical Second Team and All-Defensive Team honors. Limpot won his first and only PBA championship (2006 Philippine Cup) with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants. 1994 – Noli Locsin Another former Green Archer, Noli Locsin was picked by Tondeña 65 as the league’s top draft pick in 1994. He became a 4-time PBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999) in a high-flying career with Ginebra. Bacolod-born Locsin was famous for his barrelling game before the arrival of Filipino-Americans in the PBA. Spent 6 seasons with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise; won the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup with Jaworski as coach. He later suited up for Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Sta. Lucia. 1995 – Dennis Espino After leading the UST Growling Tigers to their monumental four-peat, Dennis Espino would later bring his winning ways to the PBA. Sta. Lucia got the first crack at the 1995 draft and picked him first overall to form a menacing one-two punch with Zandro Limpot, and later with Marlou Aquino. He had a sterling career with Sta. Lucia for 15 years and yielded the following achievements:  4-time PBA All-Star, 2-time All-Defensive Team, 2-time Mythical First Team, 2004-05 Defensive Player of the Year and 2007-08 Philippine Cup Finals MVP. He won the 2001 Governors’ Cup and the 2007-08 Philippine Cup for Sta. Lucia. 1996 – Marlou Aquino Picked by Gordon’s Gin as first overall in the 1996 draft, Marlou Aquino had an exceptional maiden year gave him Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best Player of the Conference (1996 Governors’ Cup), Mythical First Team, All-Star and All-Defensive Team honors. He also became the second Ginebra player (after Dondon Ampalayo in 1986) to win the Rookie of the Year award.  Aquino then was part of Gordon Gin’s 1997 Commissioner’s Cup and Sta. Lucia Realty’s 2001 Governors’ Cup championship teams.  1997 – Andy Seigle The first Fil-Am top pick, chosen by Mobiline in 1997, Andy Seigle won Rookie of the Year and was part of the 1999 All-Star Game. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was twice a member of the National Team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and was one of the most dominant and best defensive players in the 1990’s era. 1998 – Danny Ildefonso  Danny Ildefonso was picked by San Miguel Beer first overall in 1998, the year he also won Rookie of the Year. One of only four pro players to win back-to-back MVP awards (2000 and 2001), Ildefonso had a prolific 15-year career with the San Miguel ballclub with 8 championships (1999 and 2000 Commissioner’s Cups;  1999, 2000 and 2011 Governors’ Cups; 2001 All-Filipino; 2005 and 2009 Fiesta Cups). He is among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players. 1999 – Sonny Alvarado Selected by Tanduay as its top pick in the 1999 Draft, Sonny Alvarado was poised to dominate the league as a gritty Fil-Am all-around player. He was however embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy, that revealed that he had filed two alleged birth certificates of his mother when he applied for the draft. This prompted immigration officials to initiate deportation measures against Alvarado because of such failure to directly prove his Filipino parental links. 2000 – Paolo Mendoza Paolo Mendoza was a hot-shooting guard who led the UP Fighting Maroons to two Final Four appearances from 1996-1997. He then applied for the 2000 draft and was chosen the overall first pick by Sta. Lucia Realty. Together with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, Mendoza was one of the main factors behind the 2001 Governor’s Cup title win of the Realtors. 2001 – Willie Miller The diminutive Willie Miller is considered the first player from the PBA’s rival league, Metropolitan Basketball Association, to become the top overall pick in a PBA Rookie Draft, in which he was selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder. He was part of three teams that copped PBA titles—Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup), Alaska (2007 Fiesta Cup), and Talk ‘N Text (2015 Commissioner’s Cup). His career highlights in his 15 years in the PBA were 2-time MVP (2002 and 2007), 2-time Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star,  3-time Mythical First Team member, and 2014 Sportsmanship Awardee. 2002 – Yancy de Ocampo The “Post-Man” as he is called, Yancy de Ocampo is a shifty, reliable center who delivers the goods at crunch time. He was the number one draft pick in 2002 by the FedEx Express. He was part of several champion teams, namely Talk ‘N Text, BMeg Llamados, San Mig Coffee and eventually San Miguel Beer. 2003 – Mike Cortez The “Cool Cat” Mike Cortez, a former La Salle standout, brought his court savviness to the PBA after Alaska picked him first overall in the 2003 draft by and immediately went to work. Cortez helped the Aces win the Reinforced Conference that year. He would then move on to San Miguel Beer, and was part of a hefty push to win the 2007 and 2009 Fiesta Conferences. A journeyman in his 15-year PNA career, Cortez currently plays for the Blackwater Elite. 2004 – Rich Alvarez The Japan-born and U.S.-raised Rich Alvarez had a blast on his maiden year with Shell, which selected him first overall in the 2004 draft, collecting Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors. Played for 13 seasons in 8 different teams, Rich was successful in winning 4 championships with the TNT Tropang Texters (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 Philippine Cups and 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) 2005 – Anthony "Jay" Washington This Zambales-born journeyman was first chosen by Air21 in the 2005 draft then traded to Talk ‘N Text. But his stint with San Miguel Beer made him flourish with two titles in the 2009 Fiesta Conference and the 2011 Governors Cup. He would return to the TNT Tropang Texters and help the, win the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup. He currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. 2006 – Kelly Williams Picked first overall by Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006, Kelly Williams immediately made his presence felt that year bagging Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors. He first won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and would then lead his present ballclub, the TNT Tropang Texters to five championships, notably the three-peat Philippine Cups from 2010 to 2012, and the 2011 and 2015 Commissioners’ Cups. 2007 – Joe Devance While it was Welcoat that originally drafted Joe Devance as the first pick overall in the 2007 draft, he would earn the distinction of being the league’s winningest coach Tim Cone’s most trusted trooper. Devance has won nine championships with Cone as his coach, starting with Alaska (2010 Fiesta Cup), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 and 2014 Governors’ Cup and Philippine Cup); and currently, Ginebra San Miguel (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, and 2018 Commissioners’ Cup).  2008 – Gabe Norwood Chosen by the only team has played for up to now, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, as its number one draft pick in 2008, Gabe Norwood would then etch a rich career with his ballclub, having won 2 championships (2012 Governors’ Cup, 2016 Commissioner’s Cup). He had also notched numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All Star Game nine times, and the All-Defensive Team six times.  2009 – Japeth Aguilar   “Jumpin’ Japeth” starred for the Ateneo Blue Eagles for two years then moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers during his university years.  In 2009, Aguilar was selected by Burger King and only played one game with the Whoppers, after which he was traded to Talk `N Text.  Japeth has become a Team Gilas mainstay since the beginning of his pro career, of which the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain became one of his national team career highlights. 2010 – Nonoy Baclao   “Mr. Swat” was among the vital cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball championships in 2008 and 2009. After college, Baclao led the Philippine Patriots as the inaugural champion of the 2009-10 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season prior to entering the PBA rookie draft. In 2010, Nonoy was selected by Air21 then he was traded to Petron (San Miguel) where he had one championship in his sophomore year in the league.  2011 – JVee Casio  The former De La Salle Green Archer playmaker who was Rookie of the Year (2003), Finals Co-MVP (2007) and Mythical Five member (2007 & 2008) in the UAAP was a Gilas pioneer before deciding to turn pro in 2011. By far Casio “G-Shock” is the shortest among the active PBA players to have been picked first overall by the Powerade Tigers. JVee was traded to Alaska Aces in 2012 and has since then became a mainstay in the team which he helped win the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2013. 2012 – June Mar Fajardo  The burly Cebuano was star center at the University of Cebu of which he steered to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 at the CESAFI league. “The Kraken” has played for only one team throughout his pro career in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) and the PBA – San Miguel. As one big reason to “Fear the Beer,” Fajardo gave San Miguel six championships to date and became the first and only PBA player to win the MVP award in four straight seasons (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).  2013 – Greg Slaughter  “GregZilla” stomped rivals with his huge presence when he helped lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles to two consecutive UAAP championships in 2011 and 2012 -- completing a five-peat for the Loyola Heights squad. Picked by Barangay Ginebra in 2013, Slaughter got his pro career to a fast start with ROY and All-Rookie Team honors. He won 3 championships under coach Tim Cone (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cups; 2018 Commissioner’s Cup). He also saw action for the first time with Gilas this year in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 2014 – Stanley Pringle  Drafted by NorthPort Batang Pier, “The Beard” exploded into the local basketball scene with Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors, after stints with Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia ballclubs.  A 4-time All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Pringle is considered among the best guards and high scorers in the play-for-pay league, gaining raves from other coaches and close followers of the sport.   2015 – Moala Tautuaa  He applied and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, then moved to Asia to resume his basketball career by playing as an import for the Westsports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.  After which, the Fil-Tongan made the “Big Mo(ve)” to the Philippines and spent a fruitful season with the D-League, ending up as its 2015 Foundation Cup MVP.  Talk N` Text selected Tautuaa as overall pick of the first round but traded him later on to NorthPort Batang Pier in 2018. 2016 – Raphael Banal  Since the first round of the 2016 PBA draft was dedicated to PBA teams choosing Gilas Pilipinas players to join their ranks, the regular draft started in the second round. Here, the Blackwater Elite chose as its first pick Raphael Banal, a contemporary of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors team who went to the Hope International University-California for college.  His surname rings a bell, being the youngest child of former PBA player and TNT coach (2003 All-Filipino Conference champion) Joel Banal.  Yet “Ael” held his own in the PBA D-League for two conferences with Racal Motors.  2017 – Christian Standhardinger  The American-schooled Fil-German played in the ProA and Basketball Bundesliga tournaments in Germany as well with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.  Although he was selected by San Miguel Beer in the overall draft of 2017 in a controversial trade with Kia Picanto, the rightful owner of the number one pick, Standhardinger joined the Beermen in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after completing his ABL tour of duty.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News17 hr. 46 min. ago

Adamson, FEU keep proving UAAP 81 Jrs. no two-team race

STANDINGS Ateneo 5-1 NU 5-1 Adamson 5-2 FEU-Diliman 5-2 DLSZ 3-4 UST 3-4 UE 1-6 UPIS 0-7 While everybody’s eyes have been focused on last year’s Finalists, Adamson High School and Far Eastern University-Diliman continue sending statements they are contenders as well in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Both the Baby Falcons and the Baby Tamaraws finish the first round of eliminations in joint second-place after coming out on top against separate foes on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City. In the first game, Adamson made quick work of De La Salle Zobel, 72-57. Workhorse wing Adrian Manlapaz kept opening eyes with a career-high 18 points while Didat Hanapi and Andrey Doria also added 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Top gun Joem Sabandal made his presence felt elsewhere with 11 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and two steals as the Baby Falcons outscored their opponents 36-18 in the middle periods to come away with a convincing victory. Now at 5-2, they are assured of the league’s second-best record heading into the second round whatever happens in the clash between Ateneo de Manila High School and Nazareth School of National University, both 5-1, later in the day. Also standing on level ground with them is FEU-Diliman which tamed University of Sto. Tomas, 63-37. The Baby Tamaraws charged to a 14-2 start in the first eight minutes and never looked back en route to what was likewise their fifth win in seven games. The Tiger Cubs could only come as close as 11 points in the third quarter only to see RJ Abarrientos take charge and take back control for the green and gold. In the end, Abarrientos did it all once more with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks while Bryan Sajonia chipped in 12 markers. Along with forging a three-way tie for the second spot, both Adamson and FEU-Diliman could boast of big-time wins over last year’s Finalists – the former having downed runner-up NU and the latter having defeated champion Ateneo. Meanwhile, University of the East got its first taste of victory at the expense of the University of the Philippines Integrated School, 74-72. Little-known Leo Almacen dropped a career-high 29 points off the bench while Sean Manaug posted a 20 marker-, 15-rebound double-double in the Junior Warriors’ long-awaited, much-wanted breakthrough win after seven games. For the Junior Maroons, Jordi Gomez de Liano, younger brother of Fighting Maroons Javi and Juan, also scored a career-best 27 points built on seven triples. That was far from enough, however, as they remain winless in the season. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ADAMSON 72 – Manlapaz 18, Hanapi 12, Doria An 11, Sabandal 11, Doria Ad 5, Prodigo 4, Padilla 3, Barcelona 2, Santos 2, Dominguez 2, Tulabut 2, Engbino 0, Nitura 0, Capulong 0, Berwite 0 DLSZ 57 – Jomalesa 15, Unisa 10, Subido 8, Macasaet 7, Marana 6, Pingol 4, Sevilla 3, Villarin 2, Milan 2, Buncayo 0, Dee 0, Luna 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-17, 34-25, 54-35, 72-57 SECOND GAME UE 74 – Almacen 29, Manaug 20, Sullano 11, Dichoso 9, Alinsoring 5, Flores 0, Villarta 0, Agbas 0, Dy Tioco 0, Tajonera 0, Escamilla 0, Lima 0 UPIS 72 – Gomez de Liano 27, Torres 12, Tuazon 12, Labao 11, Vergeire 7, Lopez 3, Napalang 0, Armamento 0, Galotera 0, Estrera 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-18, 51-39, 64-52, 74-72 THIRD GAME FEU-DILIMAN 63 – Sajonia 12, Abarrientos 11, Alforque 11, Ona 8, Tolentino 6, Torres 5, Armendez 4, Bagunu 2, Bautista 2, Sicat 2, Anonuevo 0, Barasi 0, Libago 0 UST 37 – Lina 11, Nonoy 7, Estrella 6, Marzan 3, Sumabat 2, Casingcasing 2, Dolendo 2, Gamboa 2, Barranco 1, Oliva 1, Manabat 0, Dumlao 0, Javier 0, Beliran 0, Amador 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-7, 34-18, 53-27, 63-37 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

State U stars Desiderio, Dario beat PBA Draft deadline

University of the Philippines stars Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario brought to 48 the total number of Rookie Draft applicants as they beat Monday's deadline for those wanting to be a part of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) starting the 44th season next year. The PBA's decision to extend the deadline for local players from Dec. 3 to Dec. 10 allowed the duo to make the list after playing for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball finals against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. The official list of applicants, which surpassed last season's total of 44, won't be released until Dec. 14, or two days before the draft proceedings at Robinsons Place in E...Keep on reading: State U stars Desiderio, Dario beat PBA Draft deadline.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 10th, 2018

CJ Perez, Bolick lead 48 hopefuls to 2018 PBA Rookie Draft

THE cast has been set as a total of 48 hopefuls made themselves available for the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft. The University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario were the last ones to submit their names over the weekend as this year’s applicants surpassed last season’s list of 44. The league’s decision to extend the deadline for local players to submit their applications from December 3 to 10 allowed both Desiderio and Dario to make the list at the last minute after playing for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. Official list of applicants however, won’t be released by the league until Dec. 14 or two days before the draft proceedings to be held at the Robinson’s Place Manila, which formally sets in motion the PBA’s 44th season. All rookie hopefuls will also undergo the traditional Draft Combine scheduled Dec. 12 to 13 at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. The trio of CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks, and Robert Bolick lead the Class of 2018, with Columbian Dyip owning the right to the year’s no. 1 overall pick. Trevis Jackson, Matt Salem, Bong Quinto, Robbie Manalang, Abu Tratter, John Paul Calvo, Michael Calisaan, Teytey Teodoro, Javee Mocon, and Carlos Isit were among the early players who submitted their applications. Incidentally, three players with the same surname are included in the draft, namely, Kyles Lao of University of the Philippines, Kent Jefferson Lao of University of Santo Tomas, and Edrian Lao of University of the Visayas. Last year, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was selected by San Miguel as the top rookie pick......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2018

Senior UP players grateful for UAAP careers ‘winning’ finish

HAD it trying in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines careers, graduating players of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons are happy and grateful to have been able to fashion out a “winning” finish to it all......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

UAAP Finals: UP got farther because the seniors went the extra mile

Doing extra work beyond regular team practices is a common thing all athletes do - extra skills training over here, extra shooting drills over there. It is always part of the trade. But for a team with a deep-rooted losing culture like the University of the Philippines had six years ago, extra work was not normal. At one point, it was even made fun of. The losing tradition was so deep that going beyond what was required was so foreign to the players. The mindset then was, "You're going to lose anyway, why even try?" It was something that the rookies then - Diego Dario, Gelo Vito, Jarrell Lim, and Paul Desiderio - had trouble understanding. "Before, nung rookies kami, since fresh from high school, masipag kami. Kunwari after training, extra work, shooting-shooting. Pero ang problema namin, tinatago na yung bola [after practice]. Ayaw na kami pag shootingin. Hihiritan pa kami ng seniors namin, 'Oh, baka mag-PBA ka na nyan, itigil mo na yan.' Hindi namin yun ma-gets," Lim shared. "Noon, after ng final huddle, may sisigaw na diyan ng 'Mga bola!!!' So kaming mga bata, wala naman kaming choice, parang ito na, sige na nga," Vito said. But just like any rookie with big dreams, they pressed on and brushed off the jokes of their seniors.  "Nung 'dark days,' after training, wala ng tao sa court, kami na lang! Mga rookies - ako, Jarrell, Gelo. Nagsho-shooting kami, extra work kami," chipped in Dario. In addition to staying after team practices, Dario, Lim, Vito, together with a few older Fighting Maroons created a 6 a.m. workout habit. From the self-initiated morning sessions to the team practices scheduled from the afternoon to the evening, they made sure that they put some extra work in to better their games and to ultimately transform the losing mentality of their team. It all started with a bunch of rookies who were fed up with the nightmare of losing seasons and were hungry for the dream of contention. "Pinromise namin sa isa't isa na ito yung culture na papalitan namin sa UP kasi walang nag-eextra work. Bawal mag-extra work," said Vito. "Even when Coach Bo [Perasol] wasn't here [yet], our batch ni Gelo, Jarrell, all our batchmates made a decision na I think we should change the culture off the court. We should be humble, we haven't reached anything yet, we have to do the work. We made sure even with the younger ones who were coming in, we lead by example," added Dario. During the time they were rookies, UP was a bottom-feeder in the standings and the butt of jokes of other teams. They barely had any financial support and they trained in faulty facilities, but that did not stop them from trusting the process.  After one late night extra work session back in 2014, Dario's father, Edwin, said something that was a vision of the future. It was something that Dario and Vito held on to. "Andun kami sa Old Gym sa labas, may tulo tulo pa yung court," Vito said as he described the lowly state of their only basketball facility then. "Late night, Team A na kami nun, finally. This was few weeks before my dad passed away. Nung nag-eextra work kami, papa told me, 'Yung batch niyo yung magfa-Finals, yung batch niyo ang magdadala sa team sa championship,'" Dario narrated. At that point, it was a vision that sounded so preposterous. From 0-14 to the Finals? What a joke. But for some reason that could only be described by faith, these rookies believed. As Dario put it, "Sa old UP, hindi mo maririnig yung mga ganung pangarap. Pero kaming batch yung nagsimula nung, 'Oh ano, Final Four?' Pinagtatawanan na kami ng mga tao." Despite the faith, the laughs never really went away. From Season 76's 0-14, UP's record in the next years improved, but it was still far from Final Four material, let alone the Finals. UP was still one of the league's whipping boys. They still didn't make it to the Final Four and they were still inconsistent. So much so that it casted doubts on whether Dario, Vito, Lim, and Desiderio should still play their fifth and final years. Dario was mulling over sitting out Season 81 just so he can improve his game on his own. Vito, given all the bigger names entering the team, was considering retiring from playing basketball altogether. Lim was so heartbroken from Season 80's finish that he avoided touching a ball for months. Desiderio was thinking of leaving college basketball early to try getting into the PBA. But they just couldn't let go of the vision they had when they were still rookies - that their batch will reach the Finals, that their batch will change the culture of UP. Fast forward to Season 81, with the help of new recruits, support from management, and a rabid fanbase, their vision turned into reality. "After our Game 2 [versus Adamson in the semifinals], na-realize namin before 'UP Naming Mahal,' ito na yun! Ito na yung sinasabi ni papa! Magfa-Finals na tayo! It's true!" Dario narrated. "May nagtanong sa akin after the semifinals, 'Fifth year ka na, hindi ba parang masakit sayo na you're not playing in those kinds of moments na crucial?' Sabi ko sa kanya, I would never exchange this moment na pumasok kami sa Finals after 32 years for playing time. It's not about yung moment lang na yun eh. Yung process na pinagdaanan namin, para marating yun, naghirap kami nun, it was part of it," Vito added. 'Trust the process' may be one of the most overused phrases of athletes nowadays, but graduating seniors Desiderio, Vito, Lim, and Dario proved that they are the ones who truly know what it means. From being shamed for doing extra work, now, they are proudly wearing a silver medal around their necks. Coming from 0-14, who would have thought and believed? They did. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

PBA Draft: UP captain Desiderio hopes to follow in footsteps of PJ Simon

One PBA team may very well have a new battlecry after the upcoming 2018 PBA Draft. Just two days after playing his last game for the University of the Philippines, Paul Desiderio has submitted on Friday his name to be included in the list of hopefuls in this year’s rookie selection process. The Fighting Maroons’ captain averaged 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.3 steals in his last year in the UAAP. Two years ago, he was hailed as a Mythical selection on the back of norms of 15.4 markers, 7.1 boards, and 2.6 dimes. More than the numbers, however, Desiderio became a legend in Diliman thanks to the immortal words he muttered during one timeout – before proceeding to walking the talk. Since then, “Atin ‘to” became UP’s battlecry all the way to their first Final Four since 1997 and then their first Finals since 1986. Now, the 5-foot-11 guard is ready and raring to show his big heart to the professional stage. “Kung anong kaya kong mabigay sa team, yun lang ang gagawin ko. Sa akin, lalaro lang ako,” he said. With his application, Desiderio is being penciled in to go somewhere in the middle of the first round of the 2018 PBA Draft scheduled on December 16. Wherever he ends up, however, the Cebuano is hoping to be able to have the same career as a Cotabato icon. “Sa akin, si PJ Simon talaga ginagawa ko. Sinusubukan ko talaga lahat ng galaw niya, lalo yung one-hander niya,” he said. Simon, also known as “The Scoring Apostle,” has had per game counts of 11.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists through his 14-year career. If Desiderio gets to match those, or even come close, then without a doubt, UP would have a pro star for the first time in recent history. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

UAAP Finals: UP s turning point of the season as told by seniors

The genesis of the historic UAAP Season 81 run of the University of the Philippines was not a promising one. Expectations were extremely high on the Fighting Maroons as they entered the season because of various reasons. Coach Bo Perasol was already in his third year since he took over UP's program. In college basketball language, the third year is when all rebuilding work should come to fruition. Bright Akhuetie, the dominant foreign-student athlete who transferred from NCAA to UAAP, was done with residency and could finally suit up for the luntian at pula. UP's prophetic sharp shooter and team captain Paul Desiderio decided to play his fifth year, choosing to close out his collegiate career over the chance to be immediately drafted into the professional ranks. Juan Gomez de Liano was entering his sophomore year with a Rookie of the Year award under his belt and was expected to improve more as a playmaker. Plus, the Fighting Maroons already had a lot of sponsors and financial support. But after the first round of the eliminations, despite all the supposed advantages that were on their side in the beginning of the season, the so-called Final Four contenders still found themselves in the sixth spot with a disappointing 3-4 record. To open the second round, they were slapped with another loss against the Ateneo de Manila University, relegating them to a 3-5 slate. At that point, graduating players Desiderio, Diego Dario, Jarrell Lim, Gelo Vito, and JJ Espanola decided that they were no longer having any of it. They are not going to leave UP as losers again. So they decided to call a seniors only meeting. "People were already doubting us. So kaming mga seniors, nag lunch kami noon sa Frankie's sa UP Town [Center] to meet," said Lim, referring to a popular chicken wings restaurant in the mall across the Diliman campus. "Nag-meeting kami. Parang anong nangyayari? Hindi ito yung season na ineexpect namin, what is happening?" narrated Dario, "So we went in to the details. We made sure na balanced yung insights namin with Paul's perspective, someone who plays a lot, tapos our perspective na usually from the bench, from the outside, kung ano nakikita namin." The seniors did not only talk about team culture or mindset, but they heavily discussed their plays, rotation, and moves - things that are usually considered by the coaching staff. "Yung mga usapan na walang bench production, hindi nakakapag-pahinga si ganito kasi hindi nagpoproduce si ganyan, or mga plays - to the detail talaga yung mga pinagusapan namin," Vito narrated. "Given all our insights, we decided to talk to our coaches," said Dario. However, talking to the coaches was something the seniors were not sure how to do. They did not want to give the impression that they were undermining the authority of their coaching staff, most especially coach Bo's, but at the same time they knew they had to let their insights out. "Noong una, kinakabahan pa kami kasi baka ma-insult sila, na baka coach Bo will feel disrespected. We were really scared of talking to him," shared Lim. "Baka kasi isipin niya 'You don't trust me?" Dario added. The seniors pressed on and forwarded their concerns to their assistant coaches. Eventually, their insights reached Perasol and he called them in for another seniors only meeting. "Kinabahan na kami! Parang hala, anong sasabihin ni Coach? Nag-text si Coach Mo [Gingerich], 'Coach Bo wants to talk to you, Coach Ricky [Dandan] pitched your ideas and he's really positive with it and he wants to meet you guys before practice,'" narrated Vito. The seniors came in to the meeting feeling scared but they came out of it feeling validated. It was a revelation of Perasol's character as a players' coach. The seniors shared that in the meeting, Perasol listened to them and made them feel that their voice mattered. "Doon mo talaga masasabi how coach Bo is as a coach. Sobrang respectful and talagang he really listens to his players. Dun mo talagang masasabi na Papa Bo mo talaga siya," said Lim, "Not even once did we hear any negative response from coach Bo kaya mahal na mahal talaga namin siya, lalo na kaming mga senior kasi siya talaga yung nag lead sa amin sa pagbabago." "He really is like a dad to us, legit," added Dario. Right after the meeting, the changes they wanted to see in the team were implemented right away. Aside from the tweaks in the plays, the seniors decided to alter the mood in their training as well. As Dario described, "We made sure to set the example in practice so from then, go hard kami sa practice. Nagkakapikunan na nga kami minsan sa sobrang intense." What makes that meeting more monumental is that since then, the Fighting Maroons started collecting wins. It was the turning point of the season. From a 3-5 slate, they finished the eliminations in the third spot with an 8-6 record. "Yun yung naging turning point, yun yung puro wins na kami," said Lim proudly. "Natalo lang kami sa Adamson [sa eliminations] tapos puro panalo na," added Vito. UP made it back in the Final Four after 21 years. For the first time in their season, they were meeting the expectations that were set on them in the beginning. But if we are talking about expectations, apparently UP was not just going to meet them, they went on to exceed them.  In the semifinals, they overcame a twice-to-beat advantage held by Adamson University, which earned them a ticket to the Finals against the Ateneo de Manila University. It was their first time back in the Finals after 32 years. They may have failed to win a single game in the heavily lopsided best-of-three Finals series, but they were able to mount a story that will forever remain a classic. They won't deny that this silver finish still glitters like gold, not only to the team, but to the rest of the UP community. The Fighting Maroons' story this season is a testament that winners are not just made in the hardcourt. Winners are made during meetings over chicken wings, in intense team practices, and with coaches who listen. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

'Atin82: Why UP Fighting Maroons fans are looking forward to next UAAP season

Fans of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons are professing their faith in their men’s basketball team’s potential to reap further success in future UAAP seasons by using the hashtag #Atin82. UP fans used the hashtag in their messages of thanks to the Fighting Maroons after their valiant stand against back-to-back champions Ateneo de Manila […] The post #Atin82: Why UP Fighting Maroons fans are looking forward to next UAAP season appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

UAAP Finals: Better Bo-lieve it, UP is here to stay

The University of the Philippines got swept by Ateneo de Manila University in the Finals of the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Still, the season will always be remembered as the time when the Fighting Maroons ended their 21-year playoff drought and their 32-year Finals absence. More than that, the season may very well be remembered as when State U formalized its return to relevance. “Oo naman. ‘Winning Maroons’ na kami. Our minds are there already,” head coach Bo Perasol proudly said, even after they have just gotten blanked in the championship round. Indeed, from 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” Since head coach Bo Perasol took over, however, they have gone 19-23. Making “Bo-lievers” out of skeptics, coach Bo has led his alma mater to its best showing since 1986 with a runner-up finish they wrapped up on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. Yes, the Fighting Maroons were only runners-up to the Blue Eagles, but relative to the former who had just gotten out of “the dark days,” silver seems like gold. And, if coach Bo is to still be “Bo-lieved,” they are far from finished. “We already did it and we’re enjoying the (aftermath) of that – the praise, the adulation – but we need to move on from that. I’m so excited about my prospects kahit na ang expectations, mataas ngayon and next year, how much more” he said. He then continued, “It’s gonna be the Finals now, not (just) the Final Four. It’s about the Finals when we go back because if I say it’s (just) Finals Four, no one’s gonna believe them now.” Keep doubting him and UP at your own risk – what’s sure is that the Fighting Maroons won’t stop “Bo-lieving.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

UAAP Finals: In showing character, UP earns Ateneo s respect

Ateneo de Manila University left no doubt in claiming back-to-back championships in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Following a convincing nine-point victory in Game 1, the Blue Eagles ran the University of the Philippines out of the Araneta Coliseum in Game 2 on Wednesday by a score of 99-81. That 18-point win was more than enough for them to clinch their seventh title in the last 11 years. Despite the dominant series sweep, the now two-time defending champions had nothing but good words for their fallen foes. “At the end of the day, yes, there’s only one champion, but there are only two teams that play the last game of the season. That means the one that doesn’t win still must’ve done a lot of things pretty well,” head coach Tab Baldwin told reporters post-game. Indeed, while Ateneo was in complete control of the Finals, Fighting Maroons Bright Akhuetie, Paul Desiderio, and Juan Gomez de Liano kept coming at them. In the eyes of coach Tab, that just showed the character they have discovered and then developed throughout the tournament. “When you look at their season, their season had a lot of character to it because they were a struggling team early on and looked out of sorts. It’s really difficult so you scratch your head all the time and say, ‘We got talent, we got some good players, how do we pull this thing together,’” he shared. He then continued, “I don’t know what they did, but they sure got it together and they got these guys playing as a team, playing extremely hard, and they put together a great season.” At the start of the second round, UP found itself at 3-5 and at the outside looking into the playoff picture. From there, though, they went 7-1 to make a run to the Finals which was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody. And though the Fighting Maroons had to settle for a runner-up finish, the Blue Eagles said they deserve nothing but respect for their magical season. “I think that you got to give credit to every single one of them. The coaches obviously did a good job and the players worked with the coaches so they deserve credit for that,” coach Tab said. He then continued, “They were a really tough opponent for us.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018